April 23, 2010 05:03 PM by Ryan Haidet
He may have won the first time he played Survivor, but this season, James “JT” Thomas just made it to the merge before having his torch snuffed.Â Although he was placed on the Heroes tribe, JT played more villainous than ever and made a big bonehead move by handing off his hidden Immunity Idol to Russell.Â In a conference call with reporters, JT dished the dirt on several things including that insane decision to put his trust in Russell.
Question: How did you think to give Russell the Idol and convince yourself he was trustworthy?
James “JT” Thomas: It appeared that I was a lot more confident than I actually was.Â I knew that Russell was not with us.Â We all did when we went to Tribal that night.Â …Â There was a lot of talk before we actually done it and I feel like that made up a lot of the episode.Â As a group we all agreed that it would be a good idea.Â My thought was as soon as I found the Idol, Amanda and Candice were turning on me.Â As soon as we merged they would give me up to save themselves very quickly.Â So I tried to use the Idol to help the tribe; make everyone trust me more. …Â The main thing I wanted to do was get the Idol off my back because everyone was coming after me with it.Â Another thought was that I needed somebody, and I needed to take a chance.Â He was the only one that I didn’t know, and I knew the others wouldn’t work.Â So I had to take a chance.
Question: What about the moment you gave Russell the hidden Immunity Idol?
JT: I never talked more than two or three words to Russell before I gave him the Idol.Â It was completely a blind guess, you know.Â I felt a lot of pressure from Candice and Amanda since I found the Idol I felt like they were gunning for me.Â Wanting to get rid of me.Â I knew that if I took that Idol into the merge, they would be the first to turn on me. …Â I felt I was going to be the first targeted after the merge, and I wasn’t going to go just standing.Â I wanted to either gain an ally or at least start things up enough.Â It just didn’t work out.
Question: Did Rupert tell you about Sandra’s warning?
JT: Rupert told all of us, but none of us believed Rupert.Â All game he had been telling us stories that none of us think are true — then he comes up with this one. …Â None of us believed him.Â We should have.Â He was right this time.Â Sandra would never talk to us anymore.Â She was afraid Russell would see her.Â She just stayed shut after that, and we never got a chance to follow up on it.
Question: What were your thoughts on watching Russell in Samoa?
JT: It was hard to watch it because I had seen what kind of snake this guy really was — well after I doneÂ made my decisions.Â It was tough.Â I thought he was an aggressive player.Â He done really well at getting himself far along in the game in his season.Â I respect him in that part, but obviously there’s a lot of things that he does in his play that I do differently.Â Not necessarily anything I admire.
\Question: Do you think you played more like a Villain and not a Hero?
JT: I guess some people are probably disappointed in the way I played.Â I may not be a Hero to some.Â A Villain or a Hero, I didn’t play based on those names that we were given.Â I went out there trying to win a game.Â Playing the best way that I can and still be here tomorrow.Â In Brazil, it was different than here.Â Here if you wasn’t playing hard you’d be gone before you know it. …Â I tried to play hard and tried to be the one making the decisions on my tribe about who went home so maybe I could have somebody that I could trust when we make it to the merge.
Question: How does it feel to be voted out of the game?
JT: It was different, but it wasn’t bad at all.Â It was a good experience all the way around except for not winning.Â That’s the only bad part.Â It was a good experience.
Images courtesy of CBS.